I wondered about political feelings and attitudes during my recent break. On the right, we have the radical way of thinking being pushed (and mostly financed) by corporations and many wealthy people whose goals are not what their followers believe. Corporations and other moneyed interests will tell you “No”, they believe the government must be small and stay away from businesses. However, that answer is only self-serving for them, not for their followers.
False facts and ideas are thrown out for general consumption and the followers swallow the information hook, line and sinker. In short, the corporations and wealthy individuals want a small government as far from them as is possible, with just one or two regulations that affect them and, of course, many regulations affecting the general public because that puts more money in their pockets.
They are smart enough to know that most people would object to many of their ideas so they do the next best thing—they use their money and influence to spread lies and hatred of government. They lobby for things that benefit them and they use the middle class to help them. In short, they are using the middle class to destroy the middle class.
Debunking greenhouse gas effects, comp time instead of overtime, and clean air measures are some of the recent efforts. I started thinking not about what they are doing today, but about past measures that may have failed in today’s political environment thus putting more money in the pockets of people and corporations that look to short-term gains instead of long-term benefits. I’ve listed some things that have a cost and we can help our friendly neighborhood corporations by rolling these back, and the added benefit of making our government smaller, our wealthy wealthier and our middle class the lower class.
- Seat belts and air bags increase the cost of automobiles and we all know that people don’t want to buy expensive cars. If we take away these requirements, we not only lower the cost of cars but we also eliminate most of the government agencies responsible for these areas.
- Clean air and clean water. Who needs this? We can junk all those nasty filters if we throw out environmental regulations and eliminate the government agencies that gave us clean air and water.
- Global warming? Not to worry, the Republicans, CEOs and wealthy people (Koch brothers for two) say this doesn’t exist. Ergo, once we do away with clean air and water, the vacation homes the CEOs own about 100 miles from the coast will become oceanfront property and that will make them really, really happy.
- OSHA. Hey, who needs workplace safety? Manufacturers can police themselves, that way fertilizer plants will be safe from explosions and they can make more money. Think of the savings here if we get rid of OSHA.
- Wage and hours? Employers want to see comp time brought to their plant, plus whatever else they can get away with. For example, manufacturers can lower wages and require longer workweeks. Employees don’t need more than a few hours of sleep a week. More savings here!
- Outlaw unions and delete the National Labor Relations Board. We’ll see more savings, a smaller government, and best of all, no interference in business over silly little things. Hey, we all know that businesses know what’s best for their employees.
- FDA. Oh, here’s where we can save big time!!!! Food and drug manufacturers can police themselves because they know (or can guess) how many customers they’ll lose to drugs and food-borne diseases and it’ll just be a business cost, but the savings will be greater for them plus we’ll have a smaller government when we delete the FDA.
- Income taxes? No problem here. Businesses and wealthy people will tell you that the more money they have, the more jobs they can create. Therefore, we’ll do away with income taxes for wealthy people and businesses. We’ll just have to tax our shrinking middle class at higher rates. Maybe our politicians will enact a flat tax and do away with the IRS. More savings, less government.
- Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)? With businesses regulating themselves, and deciding what products are safe, we don’t need the expense of the CPSC so we can have a still smaller government.
Now I know that the cost in lives and health may be great, but they will be spread out over many manufacturers so we won’t know who or what is killing us. To businesses, these will not be unacceptable losses. Hell, maybe congress will protect all businesses from civil suits thus saving them money on insurance.
The bottom line for all these ideas? No clean air, no clean water, total global warming, no product or workplace safety, food and drugs that kill, and, most importantly, no middle class. Also, we have a much smaller government.
Come to think about this, I kind of like the way it is now. The only thing standing between rampant greed, with resulting environment and middle class destruction and us is the government. It may not be perfect, but it is the only one we have.
We have to decide what we want in our government and work to that end, not some of us but as many as we can muster. If our politicians don’t respond to the people that elected them, well get a new politician. It won’t take long for politicians to get the message and start representing us, not some faceless corporation or a very selfish wealthy person.
In closing, I give you this from Albert Einstein.
The world is a dangerous place to live,
not because of the people who are evil,
but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.
Have no fear, we are doing something about it. We read, we write, we comment, and we make up our minds. We are involved! On election day we’ll know who to vote for or against. Knowledge and our activitism is our strength! Use it as best you can.
SIDEBAR: Albert was a very smart man. He came up with the formula E=MC2. I’ve spent my life trying to understand that formula and the only thing I can come up with is that it has something to do with the energy it takes to flip a pancake real fast.